Mallards in snow!


After editing some images from last year I decided to give myself a break and head down to the local pond to see what I could photograph in the snow.  90% of the pool was frozen over and the other 10% was covered in roughly 150 Mallards, 1 Canada Goose, 1 captive Pintail and an assortment of feral geese type things.  After putting some grain down I concentrated on getting some pictures of the Mallards in the snow.  I quite like the Mallard flying so I will be going down there again soon when the sun comes out to play to better this picture.  There were Moorhen, Coot and a Green Woodpecker present aswell.  Here are the results:

 

 

Plight of UK birds! They need our help!!


Can I urge people to keep all their feeders and bird tables topped up regularly with food please.  After nearly two weeks of heavy snow cover on the ground it is not surprising that many birds are struggling to survive.   Most garden birds are doing ok, even though numbers are slowly diminising due to the weather.  ‘Non garden’ birds are starting to come into gardens such as Snipe, Woodock and Meadow Pipits to name a few as feeding becomes desparate in their usual haunts. 
After the snow last night, I have cleared all the paths and edges of my garden in order for birds to feed on uncovered areas and put supplementary food down.  Redwings, Blackbirds and Song thrushes are already making the most of this.  On the local common this morning,  I have uncovered areas under trees to give the wildlife that extra lifeline to be able to find something under the leaf litter that is present under the snow.  This is a desperate time for birds and other wildlife so please be mindful when feeding them or going for walks and just keep the feeders topped up, the water running, and if possible, just clear some small areas if you go for a walk.  Even the smallest area can be helpful.
Heres a link to what the RSPB is doing to combat the decline of UK birds this harsh winter:
http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-238578
http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-238241

If you are new to feeding birds and want to start then read this article from the RSPB:
 http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/index.aspx

Other things you can do:
Clear the snow from around the edges of gardens so birds can continue foraging.
Clear a section of the garden from snow where you can provide apples and other fruit and food so birds can feed (this can be done in your local park/ wood/ common area aswell).
Keep dense trees free from snow as birds will roost overnight in these but will not be able to if they are covered in snow.
Keep bird baths free from ice and snow.  Birds still need to wash and keep clean every day to keep their feathers in pristine condition.  It is important that regularly used water supplies are kept free from ice.
Even if you dont have any seeds to put out, kitchen scraps are useful aswell such as cheese, porridge oats, left overs from cakes and biscuits, pastries etc.   All of these have a high calorie content and are all edible by birds.

Not only will you be helping birds to survive this weather, providing extra food or shelter will give you the advantage and satisfaction of seeing the birds up close as they feed in your garden.  Do you know why a Redwing is so called, or a Blackcap for that matter?!  These are some birds that will venture into your garden following in other birds in for food.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any more information.

Thank you in advance

Ian

White Britain


Sorry about the lack of postings over the last few weeks but its been a bit mad leading up to and through Christmas and New Year.  I shall do my best to update this blog every weeek from now on. 
With all this wonderful wintry weather we are having at the moment I can say I’m enjoying every second of it.  The winter light is superb anyway but with the touch of snow on the ground just adds to the magic.  After trying to get out to remote places in the car (and sliding about!!) I decided to do some local photography and walk up around the North Hill section of the Malvern Hills.  The views were amazing.  Some of the photographs below are a male Blackbird sitting in a snow laden tree, a close up macro photograph of ice crystals, the priory church from North Hill, and a female Stonechat sitting in a spindly rose bush.